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Met cooperating teacher and now nervous!

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Met cooperating teacher and now nervous!
Old 11-29-2012, 08:05 AM
 
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I have waited five long years for student teaching and it is finally almost here! Yesterday, I spent the morning with my cooperating teacher, and I left feeling really bummed. I'm a super-organized and crafty type person. I walked into her room and the first thing she said to me was "I'm always late for work, and I'm a piler - the queen of disorganization" - my heart sank! Her room was so blah and literally did have piles everywhere! In fact, when two students came, it took her over ten minutes just to find their workbooks!

She also told me that since this school is ranked one of the best in the state, it will look great on my resume, but if I really wanted to learn alot about teaching special education, I wasn't going to there because in her words "working here is like being at a day spa". I was really hoping to really learn a lot in this placement. She only sees 9 or 10 students all day, told me she doesn't lesson plan at all - just flies by the seat of her pants and goes off what the gen ed teacher is doing in class. I need ideas on how to make the best of this and still try to learn as much as I can. Luckily it is only for 7 weeks. Any ideas??? (I'm still trying to figure out how I ended up being placed here in the first place!)


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Old 12-03-2012, 09:22 AM
 
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I think the first day is always the hardest. I am sure that you will still learn from this teacher even if it is not what you were planning on. It will be good for you to see another teaching style as well as deal with the challenge of a totally opposite personality. Teaching is only part of your job-you will be dealing with administrators, parents, students and coworkers that are difficult. This will be great practice!

I have been working as an assistant teacher up until this point. From the perspective of the teacher it is hard to have a student teacher! She was probably nervous this morning as well. I would try to keep an open mind and be flexible. Like you said, this is only 7 weeks .
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:42 PM
 
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That sounds like a really good placement actually because she'll probably be laid back enough to let you "take over" and do what you want. You could learn from her style and she could learn from yours. It was a similar situation in one of my placements. I was freaking out because my teacher was so laid back. Like NO behavior plan, made up lessons and plans on the spot, always changed plans last second...etc. But I found out shortly her style worked and she was a good effective teacher. In turn, I became less "intense" and benefited from easing up on my over-planning (aka stressing) and she ended up learning from me to stay on task...and also from my classroom management techniques.

FYI you won't really ever get a cooperating teacher who is exactly like you or how you want them to be- but thats exactly how you learn...From new and unfamiliar experiences. Also, you will always have to deal with people in the schools when you teach who you aren't compatible with...same as anywhere.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:35 PM
 
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Will this be your only student teaching experience or will you have another? If you will have another, stick it out because it is only 7 weeks, and your next one will most likely be very different. If this is your only one, see how it goes the first week and if you really do feel that it's a horrible placement for you and you won't learn much, see if you can request a new placement. When I student taught I always told myself that I would be an advocate for myself - I'm paying money to be placed with a mentor teacher who will help me learn. If I'm not learning, it's a huge waste of my money and time.

Your teacher does sound very relaxed though, and that can be a good thing for you. As others said, she will probably have no problem with letting you take over and do your own thing. When you take over, you don't have to run it exactly as she does. Her role is to mentor you, not teach you to teach EXACTLY like her. If you want the classroom to be more organized, have lesson plans written out in advance, etc... go for it! I'm sure she won't mind.

Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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Sandycheeks hit the nail on the head: hopefully your CT will be so chill that she'll let you do whatever you want. Then, you can bring in your creativity, try new things, etc.

My Cooperating Teacher (CT) was the exact same way. I like being creative, implementing positive discipline, etc. She did not. She was very stand and deliver, very disorganized, and could be downright mean to the kids. But, you know what? I learned a TON from her. Really. And even though it was hard, it was an incredibly valuable opportunity and experience.


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Thank you so much!
Old 12-18-2012, 08:14 PM
 
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You have all given me some new ways to look at this placement that I hadn't thought of before...and you know what? You guys are right! This could be a great learning experience! Thank you all so much for putting a different spin on this!
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